Green oasis in S and SE Europe
The European Green Capital is an initiative of the European Commission. The aim of the initiative is to recognise and reward local efforts to improve the environment, economy and quality of life in cities.
The path to the award
The idea of presenting the award European Green Capital was conceived in 2006 in Tallinn as a result of an initiative taken by the Association of Estonian Cities and fifteen European cities, including Ljubljana.
The award is given to a city that:
- is achieving high environmental standards,
- is setting ambitious goals for further environmental improvement and sustainable development,
- can act as a role model for other cities.
Each year a panel of twelve independent environmental experts evaluates the cities' applications in twelve areas:
- climate change: mitigation and adaptation,
- local transport,
- green urban areas incorporating sustainable land use,
- nature and biodiversity,
- ambient air quality,
- quality of the acoustic environment,
- waste management,
- water consumption,
- waste water treatment,
- eco-innovation and sustainable employment,
- energy performance,
- integrated environmental management.
Strong interest and competition between cities
In the finals the cities present themselves to the panel comprised of representatives from the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions, the European Environment Agency, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the Covenant of Mayors Office and the European Environmental Bureau.
In 2014, when Ljubljana received the flattering title the other cities in the finals were Essen (Germany), Nijmegen (the Netherlands), Oslo (Norway) in Umeå (Sweden). The received recognition is of great significance for Ljubljana as it puts us on the European and world map of sustainable cities, strongly reinforces Ljubljana’s recognisability and promotes the city’s trademark.
So far the title was awarded to Stockholm (Sweden), Hamburg (Germany), Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain), Nantes (France), Copenhagen (Denmark), Bristol (Great Britain), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Essen (Germany), Nijmegen (the Netherlands) and Oslo (Norway).
Activities during the green year
In the information office Point.For you. in wooden pavilions made by Riko set up in 2016 in front of the City Hall we provided visitors each day with information about Ljubljana and its sustainable measures. Visitors were also offered a free-of-charge programme divided into twelve thematic months. With over 300 operators we prepared more than 600 free events held in the information office and attended by approximately 34,000 people.
- January: SMART WASTE MANAGEMENT
- February: LOCAL SELF-SUFFICIENCY
- March: RESPONSIBLE WATER MANAGEMENT
- April: QUALITY OF THE ACOUSTIC ENVIRONMENT
- May: GREEN AREAS
- June: ENERGY EFFICIENCY
- July: BIODIVERSITY AND BEES
- August: SUSTAINABLE TOURISM
- September: SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY AND QUALITY OF AIR
- October: WOOD – NATURE’S INVALUABLE GIFT
- November: CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION
- December: ECO-INNOVATIONS, GREEN JOBS AND SUSTAINABLE LOCAL MANAGEMENT
The planning of the whole-year programme involved numerous partners (Riko, BTC, University Botanic Gardens Ljubljana…), from district communities, public institutes and companies operating under the umbrella of the City of Ljubljana, also schoolsand kindergartens, to nongovernmental organisations, secondary schools, faculties, museums, private companies, individuals…
We attracted the highest number of visitors to our city in March when Ljubljana officially marked the green year with a whole-day program of events culminating in the opening ceremony at Stožice. The official speakers were Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia Dr Miro Cerar, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Mobility and Transport Violeta Bulc and Mayor Zoran Janković. The opening ceremony was broadcast live by Television Slovenia on its second channel. More information on the event is available here.
After the green year concluded we published the thematic newspaper Ljubljana. For you. which includes a report on the European Green Capital 2016 project. All households in the area of the City of Ljubljana received a free copy.
The report sums up the thoughts of all project participants with Mayor Zoran Janković and Deputy Mayor Tjaša Ficko in the forefront. Nada Tarman, one of the 24 green capital ambassadors, also gave her view of the green Ljubljana, saying »I have been in love with my Ljubljana for almost a century«, and may others who participated in the project which put Ljubljana on the European map of cities determined in following their green vision and actively implementing projects for a higher quality of life.
Each of the seventeen district communities performed a very special role three weeks in the year, namely, as a European Green Capital 2016 ambassador it organised a range of green activities and events in its area – over 220, in total. Read more by clicking on individual district communities.
We carried out over1500 events for kindergarten and school children, citizens and visitors. Most of the events were admission-free. Public companies also took part in the programme. Photo from The Detective and the Dragon show organized by the public passenger company LPP.
Point. For you. grew green in spring. The Point.For you. brought us the prestigious Conventa Best Event Award 2016 in the B2C communication category. At the conclusion of the project we moved the two pavilions to Podutik to promote cycling.
As we wanted for the citizens of Ljubljana to truly and thoroughly experience their city as a green capital, we designed a special installation. At the beginning of the green year we set up a big heart in front of the City Hall. The installation equipped with a special stethoscope recorded the heartbeat and turned green in the rhythm of the heartbeat. We recorded over 1000 heartbeats and used them in the most heartfelt hymn. And so the citizens of Ljubljana and visitors were part of the common green story.
As part of the communication campaign the green year programme also included 24 individual European Green Capital ambassadors. We chose them in a competition among the City of Ljubljana staff, well-known people from Ljubljana and its citizens who convinced us with their point of view on the green Ljubljana. In the photo is our ambassador and Honorary Citizen Mojmir Sepe.
The green year was marked by the hymn sung by students of Poljane Primary School »Ljubljana.For you.« chosen in a competition between primary schools in Ljubljana. Their song was often accompanied by Dragon Flora, the official project mascot.